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Hammer restored classics coming to bluray

post #1 of 150
Thread Starter 



9 January 2012: In a landmark collaboration, Hammer today announced that STUDIOCANAL, Anolis Entertainment (Germany), Pinewood, illuminate Hollywood fka HTV and others are coming together to undertake a major restoration of the iconic Hammer film library. The project will bring over 30 movies into HD format for Blu-ray and new media exploitation in the 21st Century.

Dracula Prince of Darkness is the first title scheduled for release in the global restoration project and will be released in the UK in conjunction with STUDIOCANAL in March 2012.



http://www.aintitcool.com/node/52787
post #2 of 150
Excellent news. Big question is will there be US releases concurrent with UK releases?
post #3 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Excellent news. Big question is will there be US releases concurrent with UK releases?

And if not, will the UK versions be region-free?
post #4 of 150
post #5 of 150
Good news. By releasing Prince of Darkness looks like they are testing the market before unleashing the big guns.
post #6 of 150
Quote:
The project will bring over 30 movies into HD format for Blu-ray and new media exploitation in the 21st Century.

Curious. Do you think they're referring to Netflix here or that they are planning ahead, i.e.: 4-8K scans?
post #7 of 150
Curious if these will be available in U.S.? Would love to see them.
post #8 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

Curious if these will be available in U.S.? Would love to see them.

I thought William Lustig retained Anchor Bay's rights to the Hammer titles they released?
post #9 of 150
http://blog.hammerfilms.com/

Blog says:

"everyone else who is asking about US releases of restored Hammer films on Blu-ray, our US distribution partner for these titles will hopefully be announced soon!"
post #10 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanboyz View Post

I thought William Lustig retained Anchor Bay's rights to the Hammer titles they released?

Anchor Bays rights was for North America only and was for a limited number of years, maybe as few as 5 years. I am curious how Hammer will handle new distribution of key films such as Horror Of Dracula, Curse Of Frankenstein and several other Frankenstein and Dracula films as I believe Warner Bros still has the rights to those movies at least in North America.

One question I have for anyone who was lucky enough to view them, was several years ago, the now-defunct MonstersHD channel broadcast what was supposedly stunning HD broadcasts of many key Hammer Films, including HoD, CoF and several other late 50's/early 60's films. Where those broadcasts really that good? I have seen HD broadcasts on the Sony and MGM channels of Hound of the Baskervilles and The Gorgon and they do look excellent. I can't imagine how stunning a film like Brides of Dracula would look in HD.

If these films start popping up only in the UK and Europe on Blu-ray with no impending US release, that will finally force me to get an all-region BR player.
post #11 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

One question I have for anyone who was lucky enough to view them, was several years ago, the now-defunct MonstersHD channel broadcast what was supposedly stunning HD broadcasts of many key Hammer Films, including HoD, CoF and several other late 50's/early 60's films. Where those broadcasts really that good? I have seen HD broadcasts on the Sony and MGM channels of Hound of the Baskervilles and The Gorgon and they do look excellent. I can't imagine how stunning a film like Brides of Dracula would look in HD.

VUDU offers 1080p HDX rentals for Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein. Both are credited as belonging to Warner Bros. Although I have not watched either myself yet, I'd assume that they probably use the same HD broadcast masters that MonstersHD ran.
post #12 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

VUDU offers 1080p HDX rentals for Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein. Both are credited as belonging to Warner Bros. Although I have not watched either myself yet, I'd assume that they probably use the same HD broadcast masters that MonstersHD ran.

I've seen CoF and it's certainly no "restoration." Plenty of dirt/film damage, but otherwise looks okay. However, films like "Vampire Circus," "Twins of Evil," "Countess Dracula," and "Curse of the Werewolf" looked stunning in HD. I can only pray these upcoming Hammer discs are not region-locked. (Tho I wish they hadn't started with "D-PoD"...how much more fake can that tottering-on-the-ice look????)
post #13 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post


I've seen CoF and it's certainly no "restoration." Plenty of dirt/film damage, but otherwise looks okay. However, films like "Vampire Circus," "Twins of Evil," "Countess Dracula," and "Curse of the Werewolf" looked stunning in HD. I can only pray these upcoming Hammer discs are not region-locked. (Tho I wish they hadn't started with "D-PoD"...how much more fake can that tottering-on-the-ice look????)

depends on what it was restored from!
I would rather have that than the Universal Paramount or even the star wars releases.
post #14 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

(snip) I can only pray these upcoming Hammer discs are not region-locked. (Tho I wish they hadn't started with "D-PoD"...how much more fake can that tottering-on-the-ice look????)

Dracula Prince Of Darkness is actually one of the releases I'm most looking forward to even though it's a far lesser effort than Horror of Dracula and even several of the following Lee/Dracula sequels. Reason being, it's never had a truly decent looking transfer to home video. I remember the disappointment when Anchor Bay released it on laserdisc - the colors were so muted and the dvd was a marginal improvement. I later bought the dvd releases from Charlton UK and Anolis Germany hoping for some improvement which there was, but again only marginal as far as the color.

Speaking of Hammer Blu-ray releases, what has happened with the titles Synapse was going to release? I thought Twins of Evil was due out late last year and nothing, no comments even on the website and no news on Countess Dracula or The Hands Of The Ripper....
post #15 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Speaking of Hammer Blu-ray releases, what has happened with the titles Synapse was going to release? I thought Twins of Evil was due out late last year and nothing, no comments even on the website and no news on Countess Dracula or The Hands Of The Ripper....

I know they did get out a very nice BD of VAMPIRE CIRCUS. But that's about it.
post #16 of 150
Dracula Prince Of Darkness is actually one of the releases I'm most looking forward to even though it's a far lesser effort than Horror of Dracula and even several of the following Lee/Dracula sequels. Reason being, it's never had a truly decent looking transfer to home video. I remember the disappointment when Anchor Bay released it on laserdisc - the colors were so muted and the dvd was a marginal improvement.

I eagerly went to see Dracula Prince Of Darkness towards the end of my high school days with hopes in my heart, despite disappointments like Curse of the Mummy's Tomb a few years earlier. Well, my hopes were not fulfilled. Furthermore, if my experience with the first-release print I saw is any indication, you will be waiting forever to see a good-looking transfer because the film itself is washed-out and way on the magenta end.

I hope they come up with some better titles than this one.
post #17 of 150
My guess is WB will release their product to capitalize on Universal's "classic monsters" Blu Ray releases. Just a feeling...
post #18 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

I know they did get out a very nice BD of VAMPIRE CIRCUS. But that's about it.

Yeah, I was pretty happy with how Vampire Circus turned out even if there's a bit of black crush in that transfer. That was another Hammer film I "chased" trying to get a decent home video version of, first by PAL vhs tape, then the laserdisc, the Japanese and UK dvd releases, the German Anolis dvd and finally the Synapse Blu-ray. I think the only other Hammer film I've spent so much money on trying to get a decent version of is "Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell." That early 80's Japanese uncut laserdisc.... oy vey.
post #19 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

I think the only other Hammer film I've spent so much money on trying to get a decent version of is "Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell." That early 80's Japanese uncut laserdisc.... oy vey.

Do you have the paramount DVD? I think it looks great (for a DVD).
post #20 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strevlac View Post

Do you have the paramount DVD? I think it looks great (for a DVD).

Yeah, I have both the Paramount dvd and the Anolis german dvd. I agree the Paramount US dvd looks very nice, but it's missing several key moments of graphic footage. The Anolis dvd is basically uncut with one exception being a scene where one character is killed by the monster and there's a several frame "freeze" instead of the gory footage playing out, basically to keep the soundtrack and film in sync. The Japanese laserdisc *is* completely uncut but it's such a primitive, rough transfer of a mediocre quality print that it's basically bootleg vhs tape quality. The entire opening sequence is almost a black (well, grainy gray) screen. Not to mention it has burned in Japanese subtitles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpXF2qRqwWw
post #21 of 150
Thread Starter 
Prince of Darkness extras:

Quote:


Commentary featuring Christopher Lee, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews & Barbara Shelley
World of Hammer episode "Hammer Stars: Christopher Lee"
Back to Black
Super 8mm Behind the Scenes footage
Restoration comparison
Trailer
Double bill Trailer
Original USA Titles
Orginal Print UK Theatrical Titles
post #22 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdmike007 View Post

Prince of Darkness extras:

As it's a Studio Canal UK-only release, there's a very strong chance it will be Region B locked like the UK "Quatermass and The Pit" Blu-ray is.
post #23 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdmike007 View Post

Prince of Darkness extras:

Sounds like the same extras from the Elite Laserdisc.
post #24 of 150
Oh my god, why ...

Remember this was a brand new 4K scan before you watch the screencaps

http://homecinema.thedigitalfix.com/...-in-march.html
post #25 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rathbone View Post

Oh my god, why ...

Remember this was a brand new 4K scan before you watch the screencaps

http://homecinema.thedigitalfix.com/...-in-march.html

Um, what happened to the film grain and what appears to be missing fine detail? And where there is grain or fine texture, it's clumpy (especially in the four figures and their clothes in the bottom forest shot). Is Universal's home video division techs outsourcing now?

What makes it more painful is that it appears the source print look(ed) beautiful. I could have even forgave the obvious bump up in color saturation if the transfer was otherwise unmolested.
post #26 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post


Um, what happened to the film grain and what appears to be missing fine detail? And where there is grain or fine texture, it's clumpy (especially in the four figures and their clothes in the bottom forest shot). Is Universal's home video division techs outsourcing now?

What makes it more painful is that it appears the source print look(ed) beautiful. I could have even forgave the obvious bump up in color saturation if the transfer was otherwise unmolested.

studio canal are miles worse than Universal
post #27 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rathbone View Post

Oh my god, why ...

Remember this was a brand new 4K scan before you watch the screencaps

Has homecinema done accurate screen caps before? Slim hope I know but maybe the caps were botched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Um, what happened to the film grain and what appears to be missing fine detail? And where there is grain or fine texture, it's clumpy (especially in the four figures and their clothes in the bottom forest shot). Is Universal's home video division techs outsourcing now?

What makes it more painful is that it appears the source print look(ed) beautiful. I could have even forgave the obvious bump up in color saturation if the transfer was otherwise unmolested.

So I guess you have seen the source print?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdmike007 View Post

studio canal are miles worse than Universal

As bad as Universal at times? Yeah, worst? No. Didnt Canal have some involvement with Quatermass?
post #28 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

Has homecinema done accurate screen caps before? Slim hope I know but maybe the caps were botched.

These are not caps taken by The Digital Fix. They were provided with Studio Canal's press release. No idea if they represent the actual Blu-ray or not.

By the way, press release also states that it was scanned at 2K resolution and not 4K as The Digital Fix is reporting.
post #29 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post


Has homecinema done accurate screen caps before? Slim hope I know but maybe the caps were botched.

So I guess you have seen the source print?

As bad as Universal at times? Yeah, worst? No. Didnt Canal have some involvement with Quatermass?

Have you seen near dark?!?
post #30 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

So I guess you have seen the source print?

You might wanna go back and re-read my comment before farting out some snarky reply.
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